British Airways now fly to Bodrum

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British Airways now fly from Gatwick to Bodrum

British Airways started schedule flights in May 2015 from London Gatwick to Bodrum.

Flights are on Mondays and Thursdays each week. Departures seem to be about 2pm in the afternoon from Gatwick and return flights are about 8 or 9pm in the evenings.

Prices start at about £90 each way.

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A Beach off the Tourist Track

Yalikavak beach off the tourist track

Yalikavak Public BeachSafe swimming near Yalikavak

Yalikavak Public Beach is a popular place with local families and a lazy afternoon there makes for a pleasant change from the more touristy areas. You’ll find it a couple of kilometres from the far end of Yalikavak’s main beach*. Trees provide sunbeds for hire shade along the water front and you can hire sunbeds for a small fee. The bay is calm and a large area roped off offers safe swimming.

The snack bar sells toasted sandwiches, chips, etc. plus ice-creams and drinks, but the real attraction here is that you can hire a barbecue and cook your own meal. Order it at the snack bar and they’ll deliver it to you a few minutes later with the coals hot and ready forBBQs  for hire at Yalikavak Public Beach cooking.

There is a loo and a small changing room – both pretty basic – and an outdoor washbasin.

*Follow the road out of Yalikavak which climbs towards the headland. Turn right at a mosque On way to Yalikavak Public beachwhere a sign points to ‘Dodo Beach’. The road skirts the bay, past a hotel and down to the water’s edge. There is ample parking by the entrance to the beach.  See the marker for Yalikavak Public Beach on our area map.Entrance to Yalikavak Public Beach

Derekoy and the ‘Big Cheese’ Walk

 

Getting there: From the end of the Opus road (or from Gumusluk fishing village) take the Bodrum dolmus to Derekoy. Get off the dolmus at the museum ‘Collectibles’ at the end of Derekoy village. (a 10 – 15 minute journey)

I find the village of Derekoy fascinating for at least two reasons : the museum ‘Collectibles’ and the gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’.

‘Collectibles’ is the modern, architectually-designed home of the now retired director of the Maritime Museum in Bodrum. This quirky building, with its winding staircase up to several levels, has an ecclectic mix of old Turkish items such as lamps, jewellery and weights. Light floods in from the large floor to ceiling stained glass window: pale blue segments intermingle with colourful tropical fish.

The gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’ – a few paces closer to the village than the museum – has a beautiful array of lamps. As you approach you will hear the owner at work, making tiny holes in the gourds and then inserting coloured glass into each one for a unique effect. Have a look round and ask to go into the inner workshop to see some of the gourds lit up. Also for sale are a wide variety of stylish old pots and flagons, seemingly carelessly strewn about by the wall outside. (If you’re passing through Derekoy after dark the whole place looks like something out of a fairy tale.)

The Walk

Distance : about 2 miles each way (*for longer walk – see below)

Time : allow 2 hours.

Remember : water, sun hat, long trousers, walking shoes (picnic?)

Grade : easy

Suggestion : do this walk on a Tuesday when there is a small market in Derekoy so you can buy a few items for a picnic on the way.

The walk starts opposite the museum ‘Collectibles’ and a stall selling more gourd lighting and souvenirs. Take the small tarmac road ‘Kavakderesi Cad’, leading slightly uphill. (CAD is short for Cadesi = Road)

Follow this road as it winds into the countryside. After about 10 or 15 minutes the tarmac runs out, but keep straight on and from this point make sure the stream is always on your right.

You continue on this wide path, crossing a few streams on your way and after about 20 to 30 minutes you will be rewarded with a great view of the ‘big cheese’ : a cleft of rock which looks like a wedge of cheese, ahead of you. We returned to Derekoy soon after this point and took the dolmus back to the Opus turning. (However, if you want a longer walk* try the Sunflower ‘Bodrum to Marmaris’ walk no. 8 : Ortakent, Yaka, Derekoy page 99. There is a copy of the book on the shelf in the living room at the villa.)

Spring in Gumusluk

 We are just back from preparing the villa for the new season. Every year we spend some time at the end of March in Gumusluk, visiting the villa and making sure that all is in order for our forthcoming guests. This year we have repainted the inside, washed the carpets, replaced the BBQ, replaced the lampshades, cleaned the patios etc etc. There is always something to do!

Whenever we go at the beginning of the year we are always reminded how fresh and green the scenery is. There can be the odd day of rain, but generally the weather is around 20 C and it is quite pleasant to sit in the sun with a chilled glass of wine or beer; we were often able to sunbath.

Not being too hot it is also possible to embark on a walk or two and enjoy the profusion of spring flowers. So if you enjoy walking this is definitely the time of year to come (although October and November can also be very pleasant months for walking).

The season had not started properly and the restaurants along the shore were still preparing for the new season when we arrived on 26th March; painting the chairs, tables and pergolas, white washing some walls etc. By the second week of April, however, a few more restaurants were open and they had blankets draped on the back of the chairs in case the evenings got a little chilly.

Not quite the weather for swimming yet – although this didn’t stop two young girls jumping in the larger swimming pool on site. It was ‘cold’ they admitted – but the sun soon warmed them up again.

Mars Cafe

If you’re looking for a warm welcome and excellent value this is it!  Situated next to the ‘dolmus’ station, the Mars Cafe is probably the friendliest establishment in the fishing village. They serve a variety of dishes including vegetarian options, all at very competitive prices.

Mariette and her Turkish husband run the café; it’s more of a bar and restaurant really. Mariette is a very friendly ‘front of house’ host and will even teach you the rules of Backgammon if you want to use one of the boards available for guests.

It’s not exactly a prime position, but makes up for its lack of beach / harbour front with good old-fashioned hospitality and a friendly welcome. Check out their weekly steak night and buffet night and meet some new people. It is a particularly good venue during ‘off peak periods when it attracts a lot of the locals.